Friday, February 12, 2010

sweets for sweets

As I stood in line at 7-11 the other morning, waiting to pay for my gas, I observed all these pink and red-hued monstrosities around the register: heart-shaped gobs of sugar, sad [dusty] fabric roses, oversized novelty cards and fuzzy 'love cuffs' (?!?). It was a grim reminder: Valentine's Day is this weekend, and some poor fools are actually going to buy this junk. Eek.

I've never been a fan of the mandatory gift-giving on this (or any other) holiday -- especially when it comes to over-priced flowers and poor quality confections. I think that a holiday expressing love -be it romantic, platonic or familial- does have merit. So why give your loved ones the predictable commercialized crappola that stores seem to be stuffing down your throat this time of year? No, no. Your nearest and dearest deserve something made with love: dessert.

Making a sweet for your sweets is a great way to say 'I love you'. I mean: you take the time to carefully measure ingredients, combine them in just the right way, to create a scrumptious finished product -- and then to resist the temptation of devouring it yourself. That's love in my book.

Here's a round-up of some fantastic dessert recipes from my fave sites, perfect for Valentine's or any other day. Best of all: you can whip them up at home in about an hour or less (while everyone else frantically grabs the leftover Whitman's samplers and abused bouquets at the store).

Trust me when I say, they won't miss the chalky conversation hearts.

{photo from Martha Stewart}

What's better than an ordinary cheesecake? One with a sweet strawberry base layer, topped with a rich vanilla cream layer, that's what. Your Valentine(s) will surely appreciate the extra effort that goes into this decadent dessert.

{photo by Ken Kochey for Real Simple}

Something light: Citrus Salad with Honey & Mint
Have a health-conscious Valentine? How 'bout a succulent citrus salad bursting with fresh flavors, and a drizzle of naturally sweet, golden honey. Less than 10 minutes of work for a gorgeous unexpected treat. Perfect for a surprise breakfast in bed.

{photo by Maria Robledo for Real Simple}

For the Chocoholics: Chocolate Caramel Ice Cream Pie
With 'chocolate', 'caramel', 'ice cream' and 'pie' in the title, you know this one is gonna be good. And with no cooking required, how can you go wrong? The hard part: letting this bad boy set up in the freezer before digging in. Are you drooling yet?

{photo by Frances Janisch for Sweet Paul}

For the kids: Heart Cookie Lollipops
For the wee people in your life, these adorable cookie lollies are the answer. Let's face it: everything is better on a stick, and these are no exception. Sweet sugar cookie hearts with hard candy centers like stained glass, they will surely delight the yougin's (or the young at heart :-) ).

I wish you all a Happy Valentine's Day and a fabulous weekend. x


  1. oh, thank you so much for this delicious post ! I am definetly going to make the strawberry cheese cake and the sweet lollipops, bliss :) have a beautiful weekend xo

  2. oh....hmmmmmm...thanks for these delicious recipes...i go for the chocolate caramel ice cream pie...yeah...have a lovley valentine´s day...cheers ines...

  3. I *need* that cheesecake, but I'm having a Girl Scout cookie baking party tomorrow, so I might have to postpone it to avoid sugar overload... these all look so yummy!

  4. Lol, "chalky' hearts is the perfect description for those lil' sweets. I think I eat them more for nostalgia, well for nostalgia because they do taste e like chalk!

  5. That citrus salad looks delish!!! I'll be sure to post my own post-Valentine's day "sweet for my sweet!" :-)

  6. thanks for stopping by ladies! your comments make my day :-D

    @ Miss B: so true! put a bowl of them in front of me and I'll it eat them, but its not because they taste good. the green ones always had the funkiest flavor.